Abdul Rahman Bachnati

Abdul Rahman Bachnati, a long-time civil defense volunteer, greatly suffered from the aftermath of the August 4 explosion, until he lost his life, two years later.

Abdul Rahman was born in the Basta Al-Tahta neighborhood of Beirut in 1976 to a modest family of five children. Due to his family’s difficult financial conditions, he could not enroll in school or obtain some form of formal education, he, however, learned from the multiple life experiences he lived through.

His story is different from the many sad stories that were told following the Beirut port explosion, it is about pain and struggle, and it is an absolute tragedy for his three daughters aged 7 to 13.

Abdul Rahman’s day-to-day life was no easy treat, he struggled to make ends meet and provide for his family; he owned a mobile coffee cart which he used to sell coffee in the streets of Al-Bachoura area. Yet, he was passionate about humanitarian work, and thus volunteered with Lebanon’s civil defense.

On August 4, 2020, he left his coffee cart and joined his teammates at the fire department as soon as he heard about a fire erupting in the port of Beirut. However, the intensity of the blast pushed a wooden cabinet on his body, his left leg was trapped under the rubble, and glass shards stuck in his body, necessitating his transfer to the hospital.

His sister Wafaa recalls the events that destroyed her brother’s life: “on that day, his civil defense teammates evacuated him to the Rafic Hariri Governmental Hospital in Beirut where he had his wounds stitched before he returned to his home in the southern suburb of Beirut.” Yet, because of his diabetes, Abdul Rahman’s wounds did not heal, and blue marks appeared on his leg. He went to the Morrocan field hospital and found out he developed gangrene in his leg. He was re-admitted to the Rafic Hariri Governmental Hospital and his leg was amputated to save him from imminent death. However, his quality of life deteriorated around mid-2022, and his permanent disability alienated him from his family and from his community.

Abdul Rahman left his home in Burj Al Barajne for accessibility reasons, and settled in a corner at the civil defense fire department, relying on individual support every now and then. His health condition worsened day after day, and he needed an open-heart surgery he couldn’t afford (40 Million LBPs). He spent the remainder of his days battling with pain until he passed away on September 27, 2022, leaving behind his three daughters to face life’s hardships without their father to lean on. His sister Wafaa worries about her nieces and appeals to generous people who can help her support them, which she can never do alone, especially after they lost their father who fell victim to his own humanity and humility…

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